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Old 30.01.2010, 22:30   #1
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Default Dakar Rally Red Bull Style



In the car class Stéphane Peterhansel won his 54th Dakar Rally stage to beat the existing record. The Frenchman and his BMW may trail the three Volkswagens at the top of the leader board but Monsieur Dakar continues to make history.
“It was tough today with stones in parts where you had to drive carefully to avoid punctures. It required a lot of difficult navigation. We also found the dunes at the end tricky to get past, especially since we didn’t stop to let the tyres down a bit.”
While Stéphane admitted his chances of chalking up an overall victory are slim to none, he is determined to wrack up the stage wins.
“We know the Volkswagens are the quickest. Between Nasser and Carlos it’s a real battle for first place. We can’t have a say in that fight because we’re still too far behind. We just have to keep on picking up the stage wins and trying our best”.
No sooner had Stéphane recorded his 54th stage win to make Dakar history than the Frenchman’s feat was matched by another legend of the race. Vladimir Chagin kept on trucking right through stage eight to further increase his lead. The Tsar and his Kamaz took their seventh stage victory of the 2010 Dakar to match Peterhansel’s historic 54 wins overall.
“The stage after the rest day is always tricky. You always worry: the mechanics have completely overhauled the vehicle and you don’t know if you’ll have the same sensations. That said, yesterday, they did some great work, since we haven’t had a single technical problem on this special.”
For the Tsar the only result is victory. When cornered on the question though he made it clear the party in Red Square is not quite finalised yet. “For the moment, I don’t even want to think about outright victory. I’m only thinking about driving. On the Dakar anything can happen and we’ve still got six days of racing left.”
There was also plenty for domestic race fans to cheer at the conclusion of stage eight. The Hermanos Patronelli recorded yet another one-two as they moved a step closer to that top step on the podium in Buenos Aires next weekend.
On the bikes, Chaleco Lopez clocked up his second stage win in his homeland. The local lad is not only a huge favourite with the Chilean crowds but also with his employers Aprilia. Yesterday, he gave the newcomers their second stage win of their Dakar debut.
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